Useful Terminology beginning with the letter S

Section – 640 acres; one of the 36 divisions of a township.
Shaker – Member of a religious group formed in 1747 which practiced communal living and celibacy.
Sibling – Person having one or both parents in common with another; a brother or sister.
Sic – Latin meaning thus; copied exactly as the original reads. Often suggests a mistake or surprise in the original.
Social Security Death Index (SSDI) – Index of Social Security Death Benefit records which document how much the government has paid to an individual (spouse, child, etc.) as a result of a relative’s death. An individual may appear in the Social Security Death Benefits Index if he or she died after 1967, had applied for Social Security during their lifetime, and if someone applied for their Social Security death benefits at the time of death. It is not a complete listing of deaths.
Son-in-Law – Husband of one’s daughter.
Soundex – A method of giving names sound codes. This was created in the 1930’s due to the fact that names can be spelled in many different ways. By grouping together surnames that sound alike, individuals can search for ancestors even when the surname had several different spellings.
Source – A book, document, or other record that supplies primary information.
Spinster – Unmarried woman; woman acting in her own right.
Sponsor – A bondsman; surety.
Spouse – Husband or wife.
Statute – Law.
Step-Brother/Step-Sister – Child of one’s step-father or step-mother.
Step-Child – Child of one’s husband or wife from a previous marriage.
Step-Father – Husband of one’s mother by a later marriage.
Step-Mother – Wife of one’s father by a later marriage.
Succession – (1) Legal term in the transfer of property to legal heirs of an intestate estate, (2) probate; process of determining a will’s validity, identifying heirs, etc.
Surname – Last name; family name.

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